🎤 The "Jay Leno" of Ebikes

Plus, Cake’s new motorcycle right-sizes the pickup truck, Miami backs off its scooter ban, and Kalashnikov is gunning for the EV space.

Welcome to the Micromobility Newsletter. Hop on and let’s go for a ride.


What You Need to Know This Week

  • Just in time for the holidays, the “Jay Leno of ebikes” (who owns +60) shares his advice for how to buy an ebike. Rule #1: “Just buy one. You will be happy with what you bought. Ebikes are a gateway drug to… more ebikes.”

  • Miami has rescinded its short-lived ban on dockless scooters, with the annoying caveat that riders must now wear helmets. If Miami wants to keep scooter users safe from cars, it should build bike lanes, not require people to carry protective headgear whenever they leave the house. After all, the scooter pilot has generated $2.4M in revenue for the city to fund safe streets infrastructure.

  • In the new OS, Apple Maps is pushing hard into local business discovery.

  • With its new :work line of electric motorcycles, Sweden’s Cake is right-sizing the pickup truck for urban delivery workers and tradespeople. The :work bike not only features a wide variety of mounts for carrying work accessories, its battery can also be used for charging power tools.

  • The roundabout capital of the USA, Carmel, Indiana, shows how cities can take advantage of the humble circular intersection to reduce emissions and boost road safety.

  • The new C4 and C4 ST bikes by Belgian ebike maker Cowboy will come equipped with wireless charging technology.

  • Paris is instructing scooter sharing services to restrict speeds to 6.2 mph (10 kmh), one of the slowest speed limits we’ve yet seen. We’re rapidly approaching the point at which scooters compete with walking on effort, but not time.

  • Is Kalashnikov, maker of the AK-47, gunning for the EV space? Leaked patent images show the Russian arms company has explored producing 4- and 3-wheeled EVs.

  • Europe’s ebike boom continues, with imports up 26% this January to August, year-over-year, mainly from Taiwan.

  • Meanwhile, Portugal has thrived amid the pandemic as Europe’s biggest on-shore bike producer.

  • If you’re a delivery app and you’ve pledged to get customers groceries in 10 mins or less, how do you contend with the possibility of gridlocked streets? For Gorillas, the answer is ebikes. The instant commerce platform announced it is teaming up with Get Henry to provide couriers in Berlin with battery-boosted bicycles so they can weave through traffic and find parking faster.

  • French startup Upway just closed a $5.7M seed round to build an online marketplace for second-hand ebikes. The company says it’s able to sell refurbished ebikes for 20-50% less than the original price, which could make a big difference for those who balk at paying $1-3k for a new bike.

  • New York City is on the verge of passing a landmark bill that would shift car crash investigations from police to local DOT staff who would be tasked with analyzing vehicle collisions and making recommendations to fix dangerous street designs.

  • If England replaced all car trips that are short enough to cycle with ebikes, it would reduce its CO2 emissions by 24.4M metric tons/year, according to a new study. For perspective, that’s equivalent to roughly 1/5 of the country’s entire carbon footprint from transportation. (h/t David Zipper)

  • Is the rise of EV charging infrastructure going to clutter up our cities’ sidewalks? Even if electric cars are better for the environment, they consume as much (or more) space as regular cars, which creates pedestrian-unfriendly streets.

  • Donald Shoup, the dean of American parking studies, analyzes which kinds of people are willing to pay for parking and which are not.

  • Speaking of pricing the curb, Berlin is hiking the fee for a residential parking permit by 12x.

  • NBC did a good segment recently about why ebikes are a real solution to address climate change, during which host Chris Hayes gushed: “Once you try an ebike, you’ll almost certainly be a convert.”

  • This weekend New Zealand lawmaker Julie Anne Genter cycled to the hospital while in labor to give birth, proving once again that bikes can be used for pretty much any kind of trip you can imagine.

  • Harley-Davidson satirizes cycling culture in its new ebike ad.

  • Pierer, a rising powerhouse in the world of EV two-wheelers, has bought bicycle maker Felt.

  • Niu launched its fastest e-moped yet, the MQi GT EVO, which can reach speeds of 62 mph (100 kmh).

  • This 3-wheeled, 1-seat EV might look funny, but it can replace most daily car trips while providing many of the creature comforts of a full-sized vehicle.

  • Correction: Last week we wrote that the Build Back Better bill, recently passed by the US House, capped the subsidy for ebike purchases at $750. But updated reporting shows the maximum available tax incentive in the final bill is actually $900. The legislation is now being debated by the Senate.


Pod People

Why speed should not be limited for bicycles. Ties Carlier of VanMoof joins our podcast to talk about why his company’s provocative new model V, a high-tech ebike that can do 37 mph, is challenging cycling norms—and why that’s a good thing.

“Cars don’t talk about top speed anymore because it’s not relevant. It’s about how fast you want to go.”

Listen Here


Jobs to Be Done

Welcome to our jobs board, where every week we post open positions in hopes of connecting our talented readers with professional opportunities in the burgeoning world of new mobility. Find out who’s hiring below and sign up for the newsletter to view fresh listings every week.

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